A self-taught saxophonist, Perico Sambeat began playing the instrument in 1980. He moved to Barcelona, Spain, in 1982, where he ended his studies in classical flute and, at the same time, started attending Taller de Músics, where he studied harmony and arrangements with Zé Eduardo. In 1991, Sambeat moved to New York City, where he attended the New School. There he had the chance to play with great musicians such as Lee Konitz, Jimmy Cobb, and Joe Chambers, among others. He has also worked professionally with Steve Lacy, Daniel Humair, Fred Hersch, Bob Moses, and Maria Schneider, to name a few.
Sambeat has taught at some of the most important jazz schools in Spain, such as Taller de Músics, Musikene, and Catalonia College of Music (ESMUC), and has done workshops and clinics worldwide at such places as the London Royal Academy, Paris Conservatoire, Rhythm Music School Copenhagen, Sibelius Conservatoire Helsinki, and the Seminario Internacional do Macao, among many others. He has played in festivals and jazz clubs all around the world. He currently teaches at Berklee College of Music's campus in Valencia, Spain, and has since its opening in 2013.
Below is a partial list of Sambeat's awards and honors:
- Named Best Jazz Group at San Sebastián Jazz Festival with A Free K (1984)
- First prize winner in the Valencian Jazz Contest with Carlos Gonzálbez (1985)
- First prize winner in the Valencian Jazz Contest with the Perico Sambeat Group (1998)
- Second prize winner in the European Young Big Bands with Big Bang Barna Band (1988)
- First prize winner at the Muestra Nacional de Jóvenes Intérpretes; also named Best Soloist (1990)
- Second prize winner in the Getxo Jazz Groups Contest (1990)
- Winner of the following Jazz Entre Amigos awards:
- Best Group with A Free K (1987)
- Best Group with Ictus (1988)
- Best Group with Jordi Vila I Els Seus Amics (1990)
- Best Soloist (1990)
- Recipient of the Cartelera Turia Award for Best Musical Contribution (1991)
In Their Own Words
"My goal for the students, beyond becoming good improvisers, is to become better musicians. I mean someone who understands the music deeply and is able to deal with writing, reading, and soloing in simple and complex music, [someone who is] able to make arrangements for small and big ensembles, and with a great ear."
"I am convinced that jazz is not only one of the richest and most beautiful and complex forms of art of our times, but that it is the most valuable tool to succeed in the music world, despite which style you're playing or working in."
"I love sharing my learning experience and love for music with students."